So, because we wanted to meet the reality of being parents of two tiny kids head on and with a let's-get-on-with-life-attitude, and also because we're that stupid, Vijay and I decided to take both of them out to the mall today. This is one of those things you dread when you have one kid and you're expecting your next. Because you know what chasing one of these things in and out of stores and away from glass railings, while telling him for the hundreth time why he can't have that toy or that ice cream or that chocolate is like. And you break out in a cold sweat when you realize that you have voluntarily taken steps to multiply the fun by two and that it's really only a matter of weeks before you'll be someone you hitherto only shook your head sympathetically at as they frantically ran after one kid while swinging his sibling by the arm as he clung to his ice cream cone.
But this is one of those things you dread and then the day comes that you have to do it. And then you do it and it's just like ripping off a bandaid. Ripping it off really slowly so you can feel each hair come out of your skin with a little plink. Today was that day and it was everything we had dreaded it would be.
To start off, we had only one stroller which we planned to use for Tara so that Vir could walk besides us (told you, we're that stupid). However, Vir decided to throw a tantrum that today of all days, he really wanted to be in the stroller. So we decided that this might actually be a good thing because at least Tara won't run off and slap someone's butt (yes, that too has happened). But of course, Vir soon realized that being strapped up in the stroller wasn't as much fun as he had imagined and being jealous of Tara is no fun if you get what you want. So he threw another tantrum to get out. "Okay," we said philosophically, "let's go with the flow," and switched again. Tara, who as I've previously documented is an absolute angel decided to surprise us today by not sleeping at all through this whole thing and also by commemorating her first mall outing in the only way she knows - by pooping. Ever accepting of the challenges life throws us, and with more philosophical nods, Vijay and I went about the task of changing a poopy diaper in a very public place while also chasing Vir who by now had realized that this was his chance to escape and had run off to try to get into a car on display not far away. Thinking that we might as well make this whole ordeal worth it by shopping (stoooopid), we made our way into a store where I wanted to pick up some clothes. It was quite interesting trying on clothes with a two month old screaming outside and a 28 month old crawling in and out of the trial room through the space below the door. Fun times. Lunch was another adventure but by that time we were so exhausted that we met this challenge by putting Vir in the stroller and loading him up with some chocolote dessert. We did go through the formality of offering him some healthy hummus and pita bread first, to which he gave us his formal are-you-kidding-me-you-clowns-you look. Once again, Vijay and I exchanged understanding and sympathetic looks that reaffirmed that we're in this together and tried not to think back to who had initiated the let's-have-that-second-kid-now conversation.
All in all, I'd say that it was a fairly successful trip out. We had a few laughs, learnt a few lessons, gained some grey hair, lost some extra calories, and came back weary and sleepy but also happy and thankful that we're a family of four.